GYMN-L Digest - 17 Nov 1995 to 18 Nov 1995 - Special issue

There are 5 messages totalling 536 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

  1. <No subject given>
  2. IBM Atlanta Gymnastics Invitational - Quotes and Comments
  3. Atlanta Invitational
  4. Olympic Veneus
  5. IBM AGI - commentary, day 2, part 1 of 2


Date:    Fri, 17 Nov 1995 23:30:53 -0500
From:    ***@PIPELINE.COM
Subject: <No subject given>

Subject: Re:      IBM AGI commentary part 2

>Other notable skills included Begue's Kim salto (reverse hecht release
>front somi, catching on the same side of the bar as the release), which
>notched her only a 9.575

How times have changed!

Btw, what did those who went think of the format (split over 2 nights)?  I
can't imagine I'd like it as much as a traditional meet.



Date:    Fri, 17 Nov 1995 22:21:26 -0800
From:    ***@ENG.SUN.COM
Subject: IBM Atlanta Gymnastics Invitational - Quotes and Comments

Not sure if the finals scores have made it in from Rachele (the list
is acting funny.)  I won't give away the results in this post.

All good things must come to an end.  But it's a pity, especially
when it comes to gymnastics meets!

Geo is dog tired.  Never had a chance to recover from jet lag.  Just
imagine how the athletes must feel at these things.  I mean they have
to practice and compete.  All I did was scrounge for free pins and
drink way too much Powerade (tm).

Sure you care about all that.  But what about this:  This meet was in
the gymnastics venue for the 26th Olympiad!  That's what it's all
about.  Though the stands were only half full and the pace of the meet
was oh-so-slow-my-god-somebody-slap-me, you couldn't help but feel the
fever coming on.  Come July Atlanta will trade November chill for Southern
heat and humidity.

In the meantime ACOG has a few bugs to work out of the system, but
that's what dress rehearsals are for, so we won't fault them for
certain meet peculiarities.

Many of the gymnasts hadn't competed in an arena so big before.  A few
that had competed in Barcelona commented how competing in this meet
pumped them up, knowing it was "Olympic Soil", so to speak.  It's kind
of crazy.  Why are the Olympics so much larger than life?  And,
gymnastically speaking, why doesn't this fever carry over to other

The crowd was kind of quiet.  This was especially true Thursday night,
although Friday was at least a little peppier.  This might have had
something to do with the slow pace of the meet.  Yet it probably had at
least as much to do with many of the spectators not being very
knowledgeable about gymnastics.  Even though only half full, roughly
17,000 people showed up each night.  There probably aren't that many
people in a metropolitan area the size of Atlanta that could be called
fanatic about gymnastics.  Some truly difficult skills weren't
applauded the way you'd think they might be.  And the crowd didn't get
into the women's music the way it tends to do at these kind of

But you can't fault a crowd for not being as crazy as your average
Gymner.  In fact if I ran into a gymnastics crowd as crazy as you guys
I'd probably hoof it out of there before the police arrived! (jk!)

But, however quiet the crowd was, and no matter the glitches, sitting
there you couldn't help but imagine what it will be like come July.
All those seats packed.  Tension you can cut with a knife. Some
gymnasts trying to shake it off, to not think about it and just
hit their sets, others thriving under the pressure.  Routines are so
incredibly short but they take so much energy.  It's so easy to screw
up, to be a perpetual film clip which personifies "the agony of
defeat".  Did I already mention I had jet lag? ;^)

At any rate here are a few quotes from gymnasts, coaches, etc.  Some
were fed to us, and some I got the old-fashioned way:  by asking or

Masayoshi Maeda (JPN) Re: How he thinks how he will perform.

Everyone here is so strong. I'm not sure.

Re: The Japanese men's team and the 1996 Olympic Games.

There is hope for us to get a medal.  I'd love to be back.

Masanori Suzuki (JPN) Re: Competing in the Georgia Dome

This is the biggest arena I've ever competed in.  It will be more
difficult because the roof is so high.

Re: How the IBM Invitational will prepare him for the 1996 Olympic

I can get used to the arena and the equipment, because they will use
the same equipment next year that is here for this competition.

Koji Sotomuna (Men's coach - JPN) Re: His team's chances in the 1996
Olympic Games:

I'm not sure yet.  I think the US team is getting stronger.  We have
to watch out for them, and we will try our best.

Elena Grosheva (RUS) Re: The Georgia Dome:

My foot is killing me, so at this point I don't really like anything
including gymnastics, competing, and the Georgia Dome.  It is always
very hard for me to train when I am injured.  It is something I have
to work on.

Rozalia Galieva (RUS) Re: Competing again:

I like it.  I was getting bored when I wasn't competing.  It did take
me awhile to get back in shape, only now do I feel like I am in good
form again.  I am also very happy to be competing for Russia.  I
couldn't compete in the recent World Championships because my Russian
citizenship wasn't official yet.  I very much want to compete for
Russia next summer.


Rozalia Galieva (RUS) Re: Scores:

I should have scored higher on bars.  My routine is worth a 10.0 no
matter what and they only scored it from a 9.90.  I am satisfied with
my performance, but I still feel like I can do better.

Mohini Bhardwaj (USA) Re: Not having much time to prepare for meet:

It felt great.  I'm just really excited to be here.

Jair Lynch (USA) Re: First night's performance:

Tonight was a pretty good performance for me.  I set out to try some
new skills, fine-tune some old ones, and I think I accomplished that.
I was the first victim of the floor, the first result.  I hope I'm not
remembered for that.  But that's the luck of the draw.  You've got to
take the good with the bad.

On the venue:

This is a great venue.  But the crowd doesn't know enought about
gymnastics yet.  We - and the federation - are going to have to
educate them in this next year.  By next summer we want everyone to
know what a good triple back is.  There was a little apprehension
tonight when to cheer, when not to cheer.  I haven't been to a
gymnastics competition here in Atlanta in eight or nine years so it's
no fault of the crowd.  They just don't know.  I'm sure they'll
embrace it next year.

Vitaly Rudnitsky (BLR):

Vitaly was pleased with his performance on Day one.  Winning two
medals (FX and PH):

I was very happy to come in here and do so well.  It is always a
change to compete on a podium.  I think the equipment is very nice,
although the mats are new and they are a bit hard.  I like this venue
very much and I think it will be a great place next year.  We are
going on an Olympic Village tour on Saturday and I am really looking
forward to that.

Peter Kormann (Men's Coach, USA) Re: the prospects for the men's 1996
Olympic team:

I think some of the guys here will definitely make the team.  These are
our best guys.

Re: the Olympic venue:

It's exciting to be in the Olympic venue.  To compete here and win
medals is really special.  Atlanta will be the most exciting sporting
event in the history of the world.  We've been waiting for this moment
for a long time.

Mohini Bhardwaj (USA) Re: Her gold medal vault performance:

No (I wasn't surprised), actually I thought my vaults were fairly
good.  I was having trouble this weekend but I can usually pull it
together for an event.

Re: the IBM Invitational:

This is a good practice meet.  The venue is huge.  I like it.  When an
arena is bigger, you end up knowing more people are there.  This is
kind of like a practice meet for the Olympics.  It motivates me a lot
since this is where I'll be, hopefully.

Re: Day two:

I hope to hit both my routines and do well.  I have two new tumbling
passes in my floor routine.

Kip Simons (USA) Re: the venue:

It gives you the chills.  As the meet started any you're seeing
Atlanta 1996.  Especially when the flag was going up.  It made me want
to go home and work really hard and come back next year.  It was
awesome just being out there tonight.  It's definitely a motivation.

Re: the U.S. Men's gymnastics program:

We're making huge strides in the right direction.  The question is, do
we have time to get ready for Atlanta.

Re: Day One's performance:

I got such a renewed energy from being here.  It's just amazing.  It
seems like the people of Atlanta are really psyched about what's about
to happen.

Alexandra Marinescu (ROM) Re: Competing in the Georgia Dome:

It's a nice arena, bit it was a little cold and I had a muscle problem
because of it.  I had to concentrate hard not to think about the cold.
It's important though to be here and compete in the Olympic arena.  I
think it will be an advantage.

Re: The all-around competition:

The overall is the most important.  I am looking forward to tomorrow
because it is my best day and the beam is my best event.

Re: Problem with her vault:

I don't know exactly what happened. There  was some kind of mistake.
There was a wrong code given for the vault.

Vitaly Rudnitski (BLR) Re: Day one's competition:

My biggest challenge going into today's competition was working the new
apparatus.  I haven't competed on this brand before.  It is different
that what I am used to in competition and training.  But I know it's
what will be used in the Olympics.

I was proud of my execution on my events.  Tonight, I wouldn't do
anything differently.  Tomorrow I will try to do the same thing.
Nobody can help me win all-around, except me.  I plan to do my best.

Re: the cold temperature:

I am not bothered by the cold.  It is colder at home.

Re: the 1996 Belarus team:

Unless I am hurt, I feel that I will be a member of our team.  I am on
our national team and am the one who is chosen most to travel to
internation competitions.  Of course, nothing is definite, but I think
I will be here.


Oliver Walter (GER) Re: the Georgia Dome

The venue is really gigantic.  It has giant dimensions.  I don't often
do gymnastics in places like this.  It is not too big.  It will be a
good venue for the 1996 Olympic Games.  It was too cold on the first
day of training but okay for the competition.  I'm not sure what the
summer will be like - I'm a little afraid to find out.

I was fine with the lighting but I could imagine how other might have
problems.  (ga - There were many bright point source lights, kind of
like a football stadium.  Then too there was the translucent ceiling.)

Kip Simons (USA):

The venue is awesome.  It's the biggest crowd I've ever competed in
front of.  It was amazing to have 14,000 or 15,000 people here and
still see all the empty seats.  I can't imagine what it will be like
next summer when it is sold out.

I had no problem with the lighting.

A building this size take a long time to warm up.  They did a good
job.  The first day of practice was a little chilly but once it warmed
up it was fine.  Tonight was perfectly normal.

I'm not concerned (about competing in the same venue as the basketball
competition during the 1996 Olympic Games).  Maybe I'll get to sneak
over and watch some basketball.  I think it will be exciting.

The team had nothing but good things to say about the venue and the
competition.  Next summer when I come back, I will have a feeling of
comfort - I've been here before, and the venue was good to me.

I wasn't disappointed at all (about my performance on the parallel
bars).  This was supposed to be a down time for me, when I could work
on tricks.  Then I was selected to come here and I couldn't put my
work on trick difficulty on hold.  The routine cased me a little bit
of a problem, but I'm not concerned at all.  I'm more concerned about
increasing my difficulty, especially in parallel bars which is a weak
event for me.  Even though I struggled a little, it was good for me to
do those tricks.

Jair Lynch (USA)

- More energy tonight than Thursday night from crowd.

- Crowd still a little hesitant to involve itself in the meet.

- It's up to the gymnastics community to educate them (Atlanta) about
  gymnastics during the two upcoming meets next year before the Olympics.

- Very pleased with his performance - he hit six for six.

- Thinks Stanford will win the BIG GAME against CAL (Wake up, Jair!
  "It's alright it's alright it's alright...")

Blaine Wilson (USA)

- Knew his standing into final rotation.

- It put a little extra pressure on him.  But he "LOVES pressure".
  (Said this with a big smile.)

- Didn't do all of what he had been planning to on high bar.  Has been
  working on a four-release series.  But didn't perform it tonight.

- Free Georgia Dome ACOG pin to the person that comes closest to
  guessing what Kip told me his new four-release combo is.  Email to me
  with your guess.

Special Quotes of the Meet:

"He is not Peter Vidmar!  He is Bart Conner!"


  Correcting the announcer who mistakenly introduced Bart as Peter during
  the awards ceremony.

"Sit down, Bart!"

  -Rachele Harless

 Her view blocked by Bart during FX on day one

Speaking of Bart, let me tell you he's the nicest guy that's never too
busy to talk about gymanstics.  We had a nice conversation in which he
cleared up my confusion between the two high bar skills the Ono and
the full pirouette.

Yours in Gymnastics,



Date:    Fri, 17 Nov 1995 22:56:04 -10
From:    ***@ALOHA.NET
Subject: Atlanta Invitational

To George, Rachel and other Gymners who attended this invitational,
how was the demonstration of RSG by the US group and what was the
crowd's reaction.  I'm willing to bet it was the same --lethargic


Date:    Fri, 17 Nov 1995 22:59:43 -10
From:    ***@ALOHA.NET
Subject: Olympic Veneus

Speaking of the Olympics, does anyone know if the RSG Olympic Venue
in the University of Georgia-Athens is air conditioned?  I really
would hate to be sweltering while watching the competition.


Date:    Sat, 18 Nov 1995 10:03:00 MST
From:    ***@RMII.COM
Subject: IBM AGI - commentary, day 2, part 1 of 2

IBM Atlanta Gymnastics Invitational
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, USA
16-17 November 1995

Day 2 of competition - Alexandre and Alexandra extend their leads to win the

The second day of competition at the pre-Olympics was significantly better
than the first.  The meet was about an hour less in duration: Thursday night
they scheduled 30 seconds between gymnasts; Friday they only allotted 10,
which was still ample, except when going from men's vault to women's beam --
frustratingly, I constantly missed beam mounts. The crowd was three times
the size of the day prior (14982 vs 5921); and there were no obvious gaffes
or other signs of mass confusion.  Still a few wrinkles, but the improvement
from day 1 to day 2 was noteworthy.

Regarding the two-day format of the meet that Mara asked about --
personally, it did not bother me.  Since this is what event finals are often
like, I guess it did not strike me as strange.  I don't know what the
gymnasts thought about it.  If they competed all events on one day, with
this format (one gymnast at a time), then the meet would have lasted over 6
hours, and I don't know about the rest of you, but I could never take that.

Today, I'll start off my commentary with the women.  The field was really
strong -- most of the gymnasts did quite well and those who didn't were
mostly capable of much better.  I was really impressed by the sheer variety
of skills in the meet over the course of the two days... remember when
*everyone* vaulted Yurchenko-full on vault, dismounted beam with a double
tuck, did a Tkatchev on bars, and threw a full-in, double salto, and an
"optional" pass on floor?  (Well, floor was never as standard as the others,
but nonetheless, go with me on this one.)

In the warmups before the competition, Svetlana Boguinskaya pulled her
hamstring and so was unable to compete in today's events. What a shame, as
one friend put it, "I missed watching her sashay around the floor."

Marinescu clearly won the women's competition, with a meet-high score of
9.787 on the beam (ff, layout, ff, layout; ff, ff, full-in dismount).  I
unfortunately caught only glimpses of her beam routine, but judging by the
reaction from the crowd and press row, and her score, it seems that it must
have been fantastic.  Her floor was secure, with sufficient dance and strong
tumbling: whip through to full-in; front handspring 1.5 twist; front
handspring, front double twist, punch front (neat!); and triple twist
dismount.  Debbie got some great shots of Marinescu from day 1 (and probably
day 2, though I haven't seen those), and we'll put those up on the Gymn WWW
pages soon.

Roza Galieva climbed from fourth place yesterday to second overall with the
highest score on floor, a 9.687, which I thought was low for her routine.
She began with an outstanding double layout mount and finished with a piked
full-in (preceded by a long wait in the corner, a bit low on the landing),
packing two front tumbling runs in between.  The only complaint I really had
was that her leaps were lacking in amplitude (particularly her sequence
between her two front tumbling runs).  Roza showed strong ankles on beam
with a very aggressive routine including a ff, layout, ff, layout pass and a
Rulfova (full-twisting back handspring swingdown).

Piskoun's beam (9.387) did not go as well as she would have liked; while she
competed all of her difficult skills (her ff, full twisting back was landed
solid as a rock), she lost her balance on a ff, straddle leap. She managed
to hold onto the beam to prevent her fall to the ground, enabling her to
also hold onto third place overall.   Oh yeah, I should mention that she
threw a full-twisting backhandspring.  =) She twisted all her passes on
floor for a 9.662 to tie Grosheva for third; probably her coolest pass was
her 2.5 twist punch front laid out.

Jumping six places on Friday night to fourth overall, Grosheva showed a
variety of skills on balance beam for a 9.575.  She mounted with a punch
front directly into a leap; included a ff layout, a side somi, and a Chen
(back tuck open swingdown); and planted a double tuck dismount. Her floor
was fun, with a piked full-in mount (step back, possibly out); a front
handspring double twist (we're seeing more and more of these lately!); a
pass more often seen in men's gymnastics of front layout, front layout (very
whippy), front layout full; and a dismount of 2.5 twists.  Her ending
included a "slip and slide", where she skidded on her stomach (this greatly
amused George).

Liu Xuan, who was in second after day one, was unlucky to slip off beam on a
Yang Bo leap, which was particularly unfortunately seeing as she competed
several head-back leaps successfully.  This fall dropped her to fifth place.
She was on the mark with her floor routine, though, with her tumbling
consisting primarily of twisting skills.  She was one of  *seven* gymnasts
bunched in the 9.6 range on floor.

Had she not fallen on her beam mount (layout on, I believe), Knijnik (6)
would have finished the meet in third place.  Her beam was neverthless a
treat, with a strong ff to three layout pass. Both finishing in the top ten,
the French girls, Begue (7) and Teza (9), had unique dance on floor
(especially Teza) and difficulty on beam, an apparatus where they took the
silver and bronze medals.  Teza threw an outrageous full-twisting
backhandspring *across* the width of the beam, finishing with a back circle
around the beam to front support.  (It's a Yurchenko loop with a full twist,
basically.)  Begue bested her teammate (9.625 to Teza's 9.6) with some
interesting combinations in the beginning of the routine (I didn't catch the
combo as I was watching Jovtchev's vault on instant replay, but perhaps
Susan or Beth can clarify) -- twisting handsprings of some sort(?).  She
also threw a split leap immediate Rulfova.

Mohini  Bhardwaj (8) mounted floor with one of the best piked full-ins I've
seen in awhile (huge!) but took several steps on her 2.5 twisting dismount
to score a 9.35. Her beam (9.50) was better with a ff to three layouts, a
side somi, and a punch front, but she took two hops on her dismount.
Teammate Katie Teft also scored a 9.5 on beam with a couple small errors
(check on her punch front; wobble after her straddle-1/2 [maybe 3/4]; and a
step on her double tuck), but her roundoff, layout layout was great. This
must have been a frustrating meet for Teft, who can score much higher on all
four events.

Jumping seven places to finish in the top 10, Pacheco was one with the beam-
literally.  She included four "swing-down" moves in her routine: a Korbut
onto the beam; a ff, layout, Korbut pass; a Chen; and a really pretty
Rulfova (9.387).  I wonder if all of this swinging-down is a coverup
indicating that she cannot land her tumbling skills on beam?  Her floor
(9.6) is what pulled her up to tenth, however, with a piked full-in mount
and triple twist dismount with two front tumbling runs in between.

The Japanese women (and men too, for that matter), fared much better today.
Hashiguchi (15) pulled in a 9.512 on beam and both of them tumbled four
passes on floor. Both (Sugawara-14th) used a second pass (immediately after
the first pass) of three whips, ff, double twist punch front.

Mirela Turgulan (12), like Teft, is a gymnast with much more to offer than
the results at this meet might indicate. Turgulan began floor with a whip
through to full-in, but fell on her second pass of whip through to 2.5
twist.  Her triple twist dismount was spun the entire way around, however,
with a clean landing.  She almost fell off beam on her ff, layout, ff,
layout pass.  Turgulan appears to be a very strong gymnast, however, and I
was disappointed to not see her do well.

Ji Liya (17) fell off beam on her mount but her leaps (straddle, especially)
were very high off the beam. This world silver medalist on floor touched her
hands on her double layout mount, however and landed on her head for her
full-in dismount.  In the replay, it looked like her neck took a real crunch
in the landing, but I did not hear any reports of injury.  Sheremeta (11)
dropped out of the top ten with a crooked and low full-in dismount off beam
and problems on floor dropping her score to 9.012.  Plaza (16) fell on her
floor mount ending in a punch front, and could score only an 8.712 for her
simple (compared to the competition) beam routine.

Men's, next message (later tonight)

# # #


End of GYMN-L Digest - 17 Nov 1995 to 18 Nov 1995 - Special issue